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October 18, 2007 Weblog:

Wal-Mart's Facebook Ghost Signals Need for Ad Policy


Tightly trapped in cellophane, a pixelated ghost looks more like a desperate prisoner than a spooky sweet. In the latest move of their Facebook marketing strategy, Wal-Mart has branded a digital ghost cookie with their logo, creating a free "gift" that Facebook users may send to their friends. Clicking the cookie brings you to Wal-Mart's halloween website.

Unlike the usual crop of virtual gifts available to users of the social network, the Wal-Mart ghost screams of crass marketing, and critics are skeptical of whether this approach will earn the beast of Bentonville any dividends. The e-commerce site Get Elastic has gone so far as to call the ghost a "terrible social media marketing tactic", arguing that Facebook users "know intrusive advertising when they see it."

Among the reactions to the branded gift, however, is little discussion on whether Facebook should be accepting advertising from Wal-Mart in the first place, whose long standing record of human rights violations led the Norwegian government to completely divest from the company earlier this year. Aside from a predictable piece by Wal-Mart Watch, much of the debate related to the ethical issues at stake is taking place on Facebook itself.

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February 25, 2004 Features

Paul Martin, Ethics and Democracy

An Interview with Democracy Watch's Duff Conacher

by Dru Oja Jay

Duff Conacher is the Coordinator of Democracy Watch, an Ottawa-based group that has advocated for "democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility" for a decade.

What can we learn from Paul Martin's past record on ethics and democratic reform?

That Martin has lied about maintaining high ethical standards, that he has broken ethics rules, and that he surrounds himself with corporate lobbyists, all of whom are representing corporations that have specific private interests that are not the public interest. And so he is tied directly to the private interests of several corporations in Canada.

by Dru Oja Jay

An Interview with Democracy Watch's Duff Conacher

September 27, 2003 Environment

The Swoosh Swoops into Mountain Equipment Co-op

mec_fp.jpgNike AGC cross trainers arrived on the shelves of Mountain Equipment Co-op's only Atlantic Canadian outlet this August. Canada's largest cooperative is confident in Nike's commitment to greener products, sustainable practices and international labour codes. "They're not perfect, but are certainly putting lots of effort and resources into changing their ways," says MEC's CEO Peter Robinson.- by Norma Jean MacPhee -

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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